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      A Brilliant MInd

      PROOF takes place over a period of a week. There are a few flashbacks which take us back a few years, but most of it is all within a very short time period. Not much happens. But as with most good scripts, there is plenty that is going on.

      One of the puzzles of this story is the place/role of mental illness. The father is and has been for many years mentally ill. And he's brilliant. A mathematician. The situation brings to mind other characters who are brilliant, and a mathematician, and facing incredible challenges. Remember the film A BEAUTIFAL MIND?. And GOOD WILL HUNTING?

      I don't know any mathematicians. I do know some math teachers/professors, but I don't think I have ever met someone who breathes/dreams theoretical mathematics. I was never much interested in math classes and took as few in college as possible, but there were a few times in both Algebra and Geometry classes that I had a sense of appreciation and awe at the beauty of mathematics.

      Linda Iseri is helping with this production and she's a former mathematics professor and from time to time during a rehearsal we'll check in with her regarding the veracity of something in the script in relation to mathematics.

      I think we may need a resident mental illness dramaturg. Some of the most creative people I know face mental illness challenges. I'm not suggesting that there is a connection between brilliance in mathematics and mental illness, but the presence of both in one character (and possibly in two) makes for fascinating exploration.

      A group of brilliant students from Mansfield University are coming to one of the productions. We've arranged to have a talkback with the cast following the performance the students will attend. I'm looking forward to discussion with these students.

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